Penn State Harrisburg

A-11. Graduation Requirements

Purpose

University Academic Administration Policy L-2: Degree Checking as implemented at Penn State Harrisburg, The Capital College, with specific regard to Faculty Senate Policies 82-40, 48-40, and 82-44. 

Elements specific to Penn State Harrisburg, The Capital College are described as such and are also shown in italicized text.

Guidelines

Baccalaureate and Associate Degree Graduation Requirement Review

1. Students who expect to graduate at the end of the semester should inform the Registrar of their intent to graduate through the eLion 'Graduating this Semester' application for that semester.

2. Tentative graduation approval indicators will automatically be entered on the student's record by the eLion 'Graduating this Semester' application and be displayed on ISIS screens ARUGU and ARUGA.

3. Each semester, a degree audit for each student who indicated the intent to graduate (i.e., those who have informed the Registrar of an intent to graduate through the eLion 'Graduating this Semester' application) is produced by the Registrar's office and will be available to college deans through eDDS (eDocument Distribution System).

4. Beginning with the fourth week* of the semester, the Registrar's office provides each college with a bi-weekly report of students who appear unable to meet the University graduation requirements for that semester. Beginning with the twelfth week*, reports that identify the students with potential graduation problems will be forwarded to colleges on a weekly basis. Additional reports, listing students with failing and incomplete grades for the graduation semester, will also be provided to the colleges.

* Proportionate times are used for summer session degree checking procedures.

5. It is the college's responsibility to address all the problems identified by the reports, either by resolving them, or by removing the student from the graduation list. To do so, the college must work in collaboration with the student's major department, regardless of the student's location or registration status. If, after review of the problems reports, it is determined that a student is to be removed from the graduation list, the removal will be made by the college using ISIS screen ARUGU, and the student's major department or college will notify the student.

6. The Registrar's Office is responsible for verifying the following graduation requirements:

  • grade point average requirements for graduation with distinction (Senate Policy 88-30)
    • Distinction at graduation shall be awarded to those baccalaureate degree candidates of the graduating class according to the following rule. The top 12 percent of the baccalaureate degree candidates from any college shall be eligible to graduate with distinction if they have achieved at least a grade-point average of 3.50, based on at least 60 credits at the University. The 12 percent should be divided into 2 percent "With Highest Distinction," 4 percent "With High Distinction," and 6 percent "With Distinction."
    • Distinction at graduation shall be awarded to those associate degree candidates of the graduating class according to the following rule. The top 12 percent of the associate degree candidates from any college shall be eligible to graduate with distinction if they have achieved at lease a grade-point average of 3.50, based on at least 30 credits at the University. The 12 percent should be divided into 2 percent "With Highest Distinction," 4 percent "With High Distinction," and 6 percent "With Distinction."
  • a minimum 2.00 cumulative grade point average (Senate Policy 82-40)
    • To be graduated, a candidate must complete the course requirements for the candidate's major and earn at least a C (2.00) average for all courses taken at the University subject to the conditions of Section 51-50. The cumulative average is based solely on the courses taken at the University and is computed according to Section 51-50.
    • Note: If the cumulative average of a candidate who has changed from a baccalaureate degree program to an associate degree program is based on fewer than 30 credits, the candidate must also have earned at least a C (2.00) average for all courses taken at the University after enrolling in the baccalaureate degree program.
      • Penn State Harrisburg, The Capital College offers no exceptions to this policy. Students who do not meet the minimum cumulative grade point average shall be removed from the graduation list.
  • no DF or NG grades on transcript (Senate Policies 48-40 and 48-50.3)
    • Policy 48-40
      • If, for reasons beyond the student's control, a student is prevented from completing a course within the prescribed time, the grade in that course may be deferred with the concurrence of the instructor. The symbol DF appears on the student’s transcript until the course has been completed. Non-emergency permission for filing a deferred grade must be requested by the student before the beginning of the final examination period. In an emergency situation, an instructor can approve a deferred grade after the final exam period has started. Under emergency conditions during which the instructor is unavailable, authorization is required from one of the following: the dean of the college in which the candidate is enrolled; the executive director of the Division of Undergraduate Studies if the student is enrolled in that division or is a provisional student; the campus chancellor of the student's commonwealth campus.
      • In certain courses where normal work of the course extends beyond the scheduled period, deferment may be granted routinely for all students in the course if prior approval of the Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs has been obtained.
      • The period during which a grade may be deferred shall not extend beyond ten weeks following the end date of the course (as it appears in the schedule of courses). A deferred grade that is not changed to a quality grade by the instructor before the end of this period automatically becomes an F. A deferred grade that is automatically converted to an F can later be corrected in accordance with Senate Policy 48-30.
      • Students with DF on their transcripts will not be allowed to graduate.
    • Policy 48-50
      • If an instructor does not submit a grade for a student by the grade-reporting deadline and a deferred grade was not requested and approved (see policy 48-40), the symbol NG (no grade) appears on the student’s transcript until a grade is submitted.
      • The NG is to be reconciled within five weeks following the posting of the NG. If a grade is not forthcoming by that deadline, the registrar's office shall automatically change the NG to an F. A missing grade that is automatically converted to an F can later be corrected in accordance with Senate Policy 48-30. Students with NG on their transcripts will not be allowed to graduate.
        • NOTE: Penn State Harrisburg, The Capital College requires that baccalaureate degree candidates successfully complete a minimum of 120 credits, which must include all the requirements for the major; exceptions are offered in extreme circumstances only. If it is determined that a degree candidate will not complete the credit requirements of the degree, the candidate’s name shall be removed from the graduation list. If a degree candidate anticipates completion of degree requirements after the current graduation date, the candidate shall not be permitted to participate in a graduation ceremony until such time as all the requirements for the degree are met.
  • the minimum total number of credits required for the degree

When a student is enrolled in concurrent majors, a dean may amend the total number of credits necessary to complete the second major. In such cases, no Senate petition is required.

  • NOTE: At Penn State Harrisburg, The Capital College, this applies to the total number of credits required to meet the majors only and does not apply to the 120 credit minimum required to receive a degree. Students who do not meet the minimum 120 credit requirement including the general requirements and the requirements for the major(s) will not receive a degree.

Students with less than a 2.00 cumulative grade point average, with ongoing DF or NG grades, or with fewer than the minimum total number of credits required for the degree are ineligible to graduate and must be removed from the graduation list. A student may not appeal and the Senate cannot accept petitions for exceptions to Policies 48-40 and 48-50.3 that prohibit graduation until all NG and DF grade designations are resolved and removed from the transcript. In instances such as amended credit requirements in a concurrent major, the exceptions must be forwarded in writing to the Registrar's office no later than 3:00 PM on the final grade date shown on ISIS screen AMMU. Students with graduation problems remaining unsolved by the deadline will be removed from the graduation list by the Registrar's office using ISIS screen ARUGI. The student's college(s) will be notified and the college will then notify the student in as timely a manner as is reasonable of the removal.

7. The college, in collaboration with the student's major department, is responsible for verifying the following graduation requirements:

  • completion of all course requirements for the degree (Senate Policies 82-20 and 82-60) and appropriate grades (i.e. C or better, Senate Policy 82-44)
    • Senate Policy 82-20 General Requirements
      • A degree is awarded after a candidate has applied for graduation and has been certified by the dean(s) of the student's college(s) that the degree requirements have been met. These degree requirements must have been approved by the Curricular Affairs Committee of the University Faculty Senate. If the degree is a baccalaureate degree, except for the bachelor of philosophy degree, the requirements must include General Education (see Appendix A.1). If the degree is an associate degree, the requirements must include General Education (associate Degree Requirements) (see Appendix A.2). If the degree is a bachelor of arts degree, the requirements must include those requirements approved by the core colleges (see Appendix B)
      • The University degree requirements (including General Education) are those in effect at the time of a student's first scheduled class meeting following the most recent admission as a degree candidate. Requirements for a program (e.g., major, minor, option, honors) are those in effect at the time of the student's most recent entrance into that program.
      • Sound education policy makes program changes inevitable. In the event that such changes are approved by the University Faculty Senate, the head of the program must impart those changes to students who have entered or formally applied for the program. Students who encounter problems due to changes have the right to consultation with the head of the program and/or the program committee to resolve any difficulties. In the event that the student and the program head cannot agree, the office of the relevant dean is authorized to approve an equitable program of study for the student.
    • Senate Policy 82-60 Exceptions to Degree Requirements
      • Prior to certification of a student for graduation, the dean of the college in which the candidate is enrolled may approve exceptions to college or University course requirements. If the degree sought is a baccalaureate degree, college requirements must include General Education (Appendix A.1). If the degree sought is an associate degree, college requirements include General Education (Appendix A.2). Exceptions to General Education requirements may be approved by the dean only if they are within the intent of the Senate policies, and they are subject to review by the faculty organization of the college.
      • Prior to a student's certification for graduation, the chairperson of the department, program, or division involved may approve exceptions to requirements of the major, subject to the review of the appropriate dean.
      • Requests for extraordinary exceptions to graduation requirements must be submitted to the Senate Subcommittee on Academic Standards of the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education for approval or disapproval.
      • All approved exceptions to degree requirements must be maintained on the Integrated Student Information System and recorded in a timely manner.
    • Senate Policy 82-44 Courses Requiring at Least C Grades
      • To be graduated, a candidate must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course. The set of C-required courses for each major is chosen by the faculty of the department offering the major. The lists of such courses are printed in the Baccalaureate Degree Programs Bulletin or the Associate Degree Programs Bulletin. There must be at least 15 credits of C-required courses designated for each baccalaureate degree major, although at Penn State Harrisburg, The Capital College, there must be at least 9 credits during the junior and senior years. There must be at least 7 credits for each associate degree major. A check of progress in fulfilling this requirement will be made as part of the audit of unfulfilled requirements (Section 32-80).
  • resolution of "R" (research) grades for courses applicable to the degree program (Senate Policy 49-40)
    • Senate Policy 49-40 Research Grades: In specifically designated variable-credit courses in which it is expected that students register for more than one semester, the instructor may report the symbol R (Research) in place of a grade. This symbol indicates that the student has devoted an adequate amount of time and effort to the work, but has given no indication of its quality. Upon completion of the work, the instructor reports an appropriate grade that applies to all prior credits so scheduled and will replace the R symbol(s) on the transcript. All affected grade-point averages are recomputed and entered. A course with an unresolved R grade may remain on the transcript after graduation, but may not be used to fulfill graduation requirements.
    • Senate Policies 83-80 Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition: Every candidate for a degree shall earn as a degree candidate at least 36 of the last 60 credits required for a baccalaureate degree and at least 18 of the last 30 credits required for an associate degree in courses offered by the University or in cooperative degree programs that have been established by formal agreement and approved by the University Faculty Senate.
  • A candidate for a first baccalaureate degree shall earn the last 60 credits required for that degree within a total elapsed time of five calendar years, but an extension of time shall be granted for intervening military service.
  • A candidate for a first associate degree shall earn the last 30 credits required for that degree within a total elapsed time of three calendar years.
  • Any college may make more restrictive limitations in regard to items 1, 2, and 3, above.
  • As a degree-completion requirement, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Particular courses within the 24 credits are not to be specified, except for a senior seminar or capstone course required for the given major.
  • Exceptions to 83-80.1, 83-80.2, 83-80.3, or 83-80.5 will be decided upon by the student's dean or his or her representative upon appeal by the student.  
  • residency requirements (Senate Policies 83-80)

Students who have not met the above requirements are ineligible to graduate and must be removed from the graduation list by the college, unless the college has approved and recorded exceptions. Beginning five days prior to the final grade date shown on ISIS screen AMMU, colleges must remove ineligible students from the graduation list using ISIS screen ARUGU, electronically notify the Registrar's Office of the removal, and notify the student of the removal. All students who are ineligible for graduation must be removed from the list using ARUGU and the Registrar's office must be notified of the removal by 3:00 PM on the final grade date shown on screen AMMU.

Approved: Academic Council, June 27, 2012